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The War on Terror: Chapter 6 The War on Terror: Chapter 6
by Thanos K & Asa B
2007-04-27 10:17:03
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I am beginning to lose my grip on reality, although this is, in part, due to my nervous system causing my hands to sweat more than usual leaving me unable to even hold a towel. Honestly, it just slips out of my hands and then sits at my feet like an obedient puppy, without the puddles of obedient dog urine. Anyway, you may ask which reality was slipping from my grasp, since there are so many from which to choose, but that is a question only answerable by either a meta-physician, psychiatrist or taxi driver – I can’t afford any of them.

A by-product of the worsening perspiration was to buy a new product for my telephone. Indeed, the lack of grip between my fingers and opposable thumbs has forced my hand – excuse the pun - to invest in a hands-free kit, which obviously didn't come with the new phone purchased very recently. I am sure you can sympathize with my current plight of comparing my plastic phone handset to a bar of wet soap; the thing pops out from my fist in the comedy fashion of a Laurel and Hardy sketch.

When I went to the same electronics store as before to buy this hands-free headset one of the staff actually recognized me and remembered my name, although I soon remembered that the store’s customer recognition system had recently been upgraded and notified sales assistant of a prodigal consumer returning to hallowed retail soil. The guy was friendly, listened attentively to my problem, thought about the type of model I should purchase and then went to lunch.

His replacement reassured me that he had already taken his break and would assist me to the best of ability – his ability immediately began to worry me. We walked over to the interactive catalogue and he asked if I had used it before, so I decided to prove my metal by jumping straight into the search. An error popped up. The fully fed sales assistant reminded me that the system had also been upgraded to improve searches and halve shopping time, so he took over.

Experience had taught me to take all the manuals of the product you wish to buy accessories for otherwise something sinister would happen between home and the store. I handed over the phone manual, almost the thickness of the actual phone book, pointed at the recommended hands-free headset and the charming man began his search. The first message informed us that this headset was discontinued, the second suggested an alternative but that was out of stock and the third message hinted at a cheaper generic model that could learn the functions.

Exasperated I took it. Discount card? No, I don’t have one. 15% discount? Ok, I’ll take one. Fill in these forms? Oh, sorry, black ink. Do you really need all these details? Can I have new form? Sorry, I am suffering from extensive sweat. Why do you need my religion? Oh I see. Three signatures? What do you mean it doesn’t apply to this purchase? On my next visit! Oh, whatever. I can phone a number and claim my 15% back? Hmmm, no thanks. Goodbye.

I saved some time by reading the new manual on the bus home. It actually looks simple for once. Five buttons and each has one allocated function. Great. Got home and the damned thing wouldn’t work. Tried repeatedly but with no luck. Reset everything and began from scratch. Became frustrated with the headset, so I tossed it gently against the wall. Back fell off and its empty battery department looked as though the depths of hell were staring back at me.

Last night I realised that if I wear gloves the sweat is absorbed and the phone can be used normally. Shall I brave the returns department tomorrow, but then I’ll have to explain the broken back cover…

Read the other chapters

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